Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

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scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby scotland171 » July 13th, 2014, 1:15 pm

A quarter of a century later and I am still seeing articles like this: http://kotaku.com/why-your-brain-kept-tellling-you-to-blow-into-nes-catri-1599333217

What made that article interesting is that it was written as if blowing on your NES cart did no good at all, and it exmined it as how superstitions begin or how spurious correlations lead us to create causation. That at best it was just giving the NES another chance and you could have blown, or not blown. The comments though were generally adamant that it did work! Maybe caused some damage if down too much, or that there were better ways to improve the connections, but that it did work. No superstition, it worked.

I thought 1) blowing introduced some conductive spittle 2) that the issue was linked to the NES because it had 72 pins and the lockout chip and 3) that therefore blowing would work, not well maybe, but at least a little.

So, will the Video Game Critic and the Forum of 500 put the issue to bed.

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VideoGameCritic
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Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 13th, 2014, 2:21 pm

Good topic.

I can see why people might blow into the cartridge - thinking it was dusty in there.  After all, nobody ever used those dust jackets.

In my experience however, due to the unreliability of the system itself I usually have to reinsert a cartridge once or twice to get it to work.  It's pretty random.  The blowing isn't really a factor, but I can see how people might jump to conclusions.

pacguy191
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby pacguy191 » July 13th, 2014, 2:30 pm

Your breath ends up corroding the contacts over time. Cleaning the cart properly (with rubbing alcohol) works far better.

Vexer1
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Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby Vexer1 » July 13th, 2014, 2:45 pm

Sometimes there would be times when a Genesis game would refuse to load for some reason, so I would resort to blowing into them and that actually did seem to fix the problem.

Teddybear1
Posts: 130
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby Teddybear1 » July 13th, 2014, 3:09 pm

After a random discussion this past winter with a co-worker about holding a Tecmo Super Bowl tournament I continued dealing with my mid-life crisis by purchasing a bunch of NES games (including last year's updated Tecmo game with J.J. Watts on the label) and a top-loading NES.

It is SO worth the extra $$ to seek out a top-loader.  No blowing into the carts and no cursing at the toaster version when it takes 15 attempts to get the game to play.  Not to mention the beautiful contour of the dog bone NES controller that came with the top-loader.....it is the perfect fit in the hands.

Like the Critic expounds....games should be played in their appropriate season.  NFL training camps are just around the corner and I look forward to playing Tecmo with an updated roster of Detroit Lions.  Stafford to Calvin all day baby!

Rev1
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Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby Rev1 » July 13th, 2014, 3:50 pm

I still have friends who believe in blowing in the cartridges... I usually will grab the game from them, ask for some rubbing alcohol, and fix the problem.

Dogtanian1
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Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby Dogtanian1 » July 14th, 2014, 7:15 am

It's well established now that rubbing alcohol applied with a q-tip/cotton bud is the best technique, but the blowing technique undoubtedly worked. I would avoid doing so now of course, as I am more interested in preserving my collection, but to treat it as some sort of urban myth is clearly nonsense.

pacguy191
Posts: 201
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby pacguy191 » July 14th, 2014, 11:18 am

[QUOTE=Dogtanian]It's well established now that rubbing alcohol applied with a q-tip/cotton bud is the best technique, but the blowing technique undoubtedly worked. I would avoid doing so now of course, as I am more interested in preserving my collection, but to treat it as some sort of urban myth is clearly nonsense.[/QUOTE]
It only worked in the short term. Yeah, it knocked the dust off the connector, but do that over a period of years and that cart's gonna stop working.

HardcoreSadism1
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby HardcoreSadism1 » July 14th, 2014, 11:55 am

Scale the pins with a microfiber cloth, problem solved.

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Blowing on your NES cartridges - silly or sound?

Postby scotland171 » July 14th, 2014, 7:31 pm

[QUOTE=pacguy19][QUOTE=Dogtanian]It's well established now that rubbing alcohol applied with a q-tip/cotton bud is the best technique, but the blowing technique undoubtedly worked. I would avoid doing so now of course, as I am more interested in preserving my collection, but to treat it as some sort of urban myth is clearly nonsense.[/QUOTE]
It only worked in the short term. Yeah, it knocked the dust off the connector, but do that over a period of years and that cart's gonna stop working.[/QUOTE]

This is where I was hoping to go  - a consensus from Dave and The Regulars here that its not an urban myth or as useless as saying abracadabra despite articles like this article from a year ago http://mentalfloss.com/article/12589/did-blowing-nintendo-cartridges-really-help that said "So, dear readers, all signs point to no: blowing in the cartridge did not help. My money is on the blowing thing being a pure placebo, offering the user just another chance at getting a good connection.

Can we agree it did help, if only a little, and that no, don't do it today but instead use nonpotable alcohol to clean the contacts?




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